I changed my plan. As I mentioned last week, I was hoping to do the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home. Yeah, that didn’t work. I didn’t realize that some of the daily assignments were going to be things like “clean your freezer” or “clean your couch” (including spot-cleaning). And those are supposed to be the easy tasks for people that have busy days or work outside the home! Yeah. Not happening. As I mentioned yesterday, I spent most of last week falling asleep when my daughter did.
Fortunately, I saw another plan that I think might work better. You see, our church is having its annual, massive rummage sale at the beginning of April. And our town is having the city-wide rummage sale at the beginning of May. I know I have a lot of STUFF in our house that I can clean out and get rid of – either by donating or trying to sell ourselves.
Along comes the “40 Bags in 40 Days” challenge. This plan is to get rid of 40 “bags” of stuff in the 40 days of Lent. It can be boxes, small bags, large garbage bags … it can be stuff to toss, to donate, to sell. As long as it’s trying to eliminate some of the clutter in our lives.
Side note: did you ever realize that the 40 days of Lent doesn’t include Sundays?! I didn’t. 40 days is Ash Wednesday through the day before Easter, minus any Sundays. Hmm… ya learn something all the time!
I mentioned this plan to Papa, and he got right on board. In fact, he helped push me along on Saturday to get more done than I thought we could! I should have known he would embrace this idea. I’m a much bigger pack-rat / paper hoarder / stuff-hanger-on-er than he is.
The simplest was the box of children’s books. I had tried to sort them out a few weeks ago but never got them boxed up … so someone in our house scattered them again. Now they’re hidden from view.
I also finished going through all our 2013 receipts and papers and removing those we no longer needed to keep.
Next, it was time to tackle our movies. We had received a box of children’s videos that belonged to Papa’s sister, Jane (the one that passed away in December). Most of them were Disney VHS – and we knew we already had some. So we pulled out ALL the DVDs and VHS tapes we had and all that came from her and started going through them.
Actually, this isn’t the biggest part of the mess we made. It was spread out even more, but we had a tough enough time trying to stay on target let alone remembering to take pictures. Our biggest distraction was when Little Chick decided she wanted to have a “tea” party in the living room near us … by bringing in a cup of coffee. Yep, there was spillage all along the carpet. Good thing Papa cleaned our carpets a month ago. sigh
She did think it was great fun to play the matching game with the movies. Hey, there’s two Pete’s Dragon. And “same match” Cinderella. And here’s another match … and another. In the end, we were able to find a full tote of videos to donate to church (two levels deep).
I left out a handful of DVDs that I might try and sell at our own rummage sale. I also pulled out all of our Christmas videos and put them in a tote downstairs, because let’s face it … I’m not going to watch Miracle on 34th Street until next November.
Here is where I was ready to call it a day. Or at least take a break. But Papa only let me take a short one and then he was on to our CD collection. We have a rather extensive library. I had a friend back in college who used to take me to CD resale shops and encouraged me to buy them even if I only liked one song on it. Then I got married to a man that also liked music and had his own not-quite-as-large collection. We added a few post-marriage as we seemed to spend a lot of time listening to music. These days? Not so much. We get some music time in the car, but usually there’s a little voice in the back seat wanting to only listen to Veggie Tales. Some day we’ll make her listen to OUR music … just like our parents forced us :-).
We were able to eliminate these stacks – including at least half the stack you see in the background. That was my stack that I wanted to listen to before making a final decision. I still have a couple more CDs to review, but I’m guessing those will head out the door too.
We now have all the CDs organized. We still have close to 150 CDs … and that’s plenty. All the children’s movies have been moved to within view for Little Chick (you can see her checking them out).
We let her have access because she’s actually very careful with the movies. She’s known how to put VHS tapes and DVDs in the players for several months now. She did accidentally break a DVD last week by pulling too hard trying to get it out of the case. I guess we need to work more on the press the release button skill.
All the “adult” videos are now in our not-so-secret hiding place above the fireplace. We still don’t have a great system as there are multiple stacks and you have to move the front ones to see the ones in the back, but at least they are no longer spilling all over the place. Moving the children’s movies out of that space really helped.
And the best feeling? Not only are those spaces organized and we have a couple of boxes to donate/sell … but we also have this:
An Empty Tote! This tote had been sitting downstairs for years, filled with a lot of our VHS movies. Now that they either are leaving or they’re in the children’s movie area … we have no more need for the tote. Yippee!
Again this week, I’m struggling to try and organize during the week. I know there are certain areas that need attention … like cleaning off the dining room table (we eat at the banquet table in the kitchen), or going through Little Chick’s drawers and pulling out all the clothes that are too short. Both of those are time-consuming. We’ll see what I can accomplish in the next couple of days – otherwise, it may be a busy weekend!